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UAE consumers pay premiums for new iPhones

Apple handsets snapped up by buyers willing to pay up to $1,635 for day-one access

The iPhone 5S will sell for AED6,000.
The iPhone 5S will sell for AED6,000.

UAE consumers will be able to buy Apple's new handsets, the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C on Friday's international launch date, but will have to pay premiums of up to $1,635, ITP.net has learned.

GALLERY: The Apple iPhone 5S

GALLERY: The Apple iPhone 5C

The UAE is not included in the list of territories whose consumers will have day-one access to the new handsets. But while local retailers are unclear on availability or pricing, at least one company is already taking orders.

GALLERY: The Apple iPhone 5S

GALLERY: The Apple iPhone 5C

Online stores such as jadopado.com and uae.souq.com have yet to post prices for the 5C or the 5S. Some retailers sold the iPhone 5 for premium prices when it launched in September 2012, having sourced the device through grey channels, but representatives from Virgin Megastore, Jumbo Electronics and Jacky's all told ITP.net they had yet to receive details on the cost of the 5C or 5S.


But one supplier, advertising on iphone5-dubai.com, is offering both iPhones on Friday. A spokesman for electronics repair company MTS International General Trading LLC said the company would likely be selling the iPhone 5S for AED6,000 ($1,635). He said the price for the iPhone 5C had yet to be finalised, but he anticipated a price greater than AED3,000 ($816).

GALLERY: The Apple iPhone 5S

GALLERY: The Apple iPhone 5C

The unsubsidised price for the iPhone 5S in the US is $849 while the iPhone 5C will go for $549.

The MTS source said that he had received calls from over 200 interested parties since the 11 September unveiling of the handsets. Around 40 to 50 of these iFans placed orders for the cheaper iPhone 5C and the rest placed orders for the 5S, many asking for multiple units. The source also said some buyers were prepared to pay any price.

GALLERY: The Apple iPhone 5S

GALLERY: The Apple iPhone 5C

Apple's dalliance with the sub-premium market has been criticised by industry analysts who feel the iPhone 5C is overpriced for the Chinese market, where it will sell for the unsubsidised price of just over $730. Key to making any headway in a market flooded with cheaper alternatives will be a distribution deal with China Mobile Ltd.